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Friday, March 3, 2017

Fw: TheList 4401

The List 4401


To All,
I hope you all have a great weekend.
Regards,
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This Day In Naval History - March 3
1776 - First amphibious landing operation. Continental naval squadron under
Commodore Esek Hopkins lands Sailors and Marines, commanded by Captain
Samuel Nicholas, on New Providence Island in the Bahamas, capturing
urgently-needed ordnance and gunpowder.
1871 - Navy Medical Corps established
1883 - Congress authorizes 4 modern ships of steel, "A,B,C, D Ships"; three
cruisers, Atlanta, Boston and Chicago, and dispatch boat Dolphin
1915: The Office of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) is established by Congress with Adm. William S. Benson named the first CNO.
 
1915 - Congress creates Federal Naval Reserve. Under it Naval Reserve Force
built up
1960 - USS Sargo returns to Hawaii from arctic cruise of 11,000 miles,
6,003 miles under the polar ice
 
 
This Day In Naval History - March 4
1910, Lt Benjamin Foulois made the first ever US military aircraft flight at Ft Sam Houston, TX (San Antonio). I think they said it lasted about seven minutes. It was also his initial solo, his first takeoff and first landing with only himself at the controls (He had less than an hour of "dual" instruction with one of the Wright brothers, but he could only observe.) We had a ceremony today at Ft Sam to commemorate the event.
Mugs
1911 - Appropriation of first funds for experiments in naval aviation.
1925 - Congress authorizes restoration of USS Constitution.
1947 - Operation Highjump, air operations in Antarctica, ends.
1963 - Navy Hercules aircraft completes 12-day rescue operation of critically ill Danish seaman from Danish freighter off the coast of Antarctic.
 
This Day In Naval History - March 5
1942 - Name "Seabees" and insignia officially authorized
1943 - USS Bogue begins first anti-submarine operations by escort carrier.
1960 - USS Newport News (CA-148) and personnel from Port Lyautey complete emergency relief operations at Agadir, Morocco after earthquake on 29 February.
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March 3
1791
Congress passes a resolution authorizing the U.S. Mint; legislation creating the mint will be passed on Apr. 2, 1792.
1803
The first impeachment trial of a U.S. Judge, John Pickering, begins.
1817
The first commercial steamboat route from Louisville to New Orleans is opened.
1845
Florida becomes the 27th U.S. state.
1857
Under pretexts, Britain and France declare war on China.
1861
The serfs of Russia are emancipated by Alexander II as part of a program of westernization.
1863
President Abraham Lincoln signs the conscription act compelling U.S. citizens to report for duty in the Civil War or pay $300.00.
1877
Rutherford B. Hayes, the republican governor of Ohio is elected president, his election confirmed by an electoral commission after disputed election the previous November.
1878
Russia and the Ottomans sign the Treaty of San Stefano, granting independence to Serbia.
1905
The Russian Czar agrees to create an elected assembly.
1918
The Soviets and Germany sign a peace treaty at Brest-Litovsk depriving the Soviets of White Russia.
1919
Boeing flies the first U.S. international airmail from Vancouver, British Columbia to Seattle, Washington.
1923
The first issue of Time magazine is published. It's editor, Henry R. Luce, is just out of Yale.
1931
President Herbert Hoover signs a bill that makes Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner," the national anthem.
1939
In Bombay, Gandhi begins a fast to protest the state's autocratic rule.
1940
A Nazi air raid kills 108 on a British liner in the English Channel.
1941
Moscow denounces the Axis rule in Bulgaria.
1942
The RAF raids the industrial suburbs of Paris.
1945
Finland declares war on the Axis.
1952
The U.S. Supreme Court upholds New York's Feinberg Law banning Communist teachers in the United States.
1969
Sirhan Sirhan testifies in a court in Los Angeles that he killed Robert Kennedy.
1973
Japan discloses its first defense plan since World War II.
1999
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky appears on national television to explain her affair with President Bill Clinton.
 
 
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From the Early Bird
U.S. tries to ID hundreds of al Qaeda contacts thanks to Yemen raid
Yemen al Qaeda raid revealed hundreds of names 02:15
Story highlights
Some of these operatives are believed to be in the West
A Navy SEAL was killed in the raid, stoking controversy
Washington (CNN)Several US officials told CNN Thursday that the US is now taking action to locate and monitor hundreds of people or "contacts" found as part the intelligence retrieved during the deadly raid last month in Yemen targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Some of these people are believed to be in the West, but not in the United States.
The government is taking action to find and monitor these AQAP-linked individuals because of the threat they may pose to Europe, the officials added.
The fact that officials said they are actively pursuing leads uncovered from the raid indicates that the intelligence was indeed actionable despite some media reports to the contrary.
The terabyte's worth of intelligence gathered from computers and cell phones is now being reviewed at the National Media Exploitation Center outside Washington, which analyzes documents, electronic media, cell phones, video and audio tapes seized on overseas missions.
Read More
Defense officials have told CNN that information pertaining to the location of safe havens, explosives manufacturing, training and targets was acquired in the January ground operation.
But the raid has faced questions from lawmakers about its utility and execution, with several Trump critics questioning the value of the intelligence, whether the right calculation about the raid's risks was made and whether the result was worth the costs. The father of Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens, who was killed in the firefight, has called for an investigation.
A number of civilians were also killed in the battle, something the Pentagon has acknowledged and is investigating.
Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversees US troops in the region, called the mission "successful" from the military's point of view.
"The object was to go in and collect intelligence. We accomplished that, so from that perspective it was successful. I certainly understand how the family would look at this in a different light," Votel told CBS News.
President Donald Trump defended the January raid in his Tuesday address to Congress. As Trump spoke, Owens' widow, Carryn, looked up at the ceiling, seemingly to her late husband, as she sat crying.
"Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies,' " Trump said.
AQAP is considered by many analysts to be al Qaeda's most capable affiliate, and the organization has been able to carve out a safe haven in Yemen amid the ongoing civil war there between government loyalists and Houthi rebels.
The terror group has been linked to attacks in the West, including the 2015 Charlie Hebdo newspaper office massacre in Paris.
"AQAP has taken advantage of ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct and inspire terror attacks against the United States and our allies," US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said Thursday following a series of US airstrikes in Yemen against the terror group.
A US defense official said that the strikes overnight were not connected to the intelligence obtained in January, since the strikes had been planned for some time.
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 03/03/2017 AFGHANISTAN - ISLAMIC STATE BRANCH EXPANDS ALONG DOMESTIC BORDER WITH PAKISTAN (MAR 03/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- A branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan has been expanding territorially, recruiting fighters and making its strikes in more places, say members of to members of the group as well as Afghan officials, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   For example, fighters from the Khorasan Province claimed responsibility for the mid-February attack on a Sufi shrine in Pakistan that killed 90 people. ISIS militants have also been blamed for the deaths of six local aid workers in northern Afghanistan, far from their stronghold in the east.   The extent of links between ISIS militants in Afghanistan and the home organization in Syria is unclear. Most fighters in the Khorasan Province are Afghans, Pakistanis or from Central Asian countries, officials said.   ISIS does not have a formal group in Pakistan, although there are sympathizers and other links, one militant acknowledged to Reuters. Most attacks in Pakistan are conducted by fighters crossing the border from Afghanistan, said the militant.   Both Western and Afghan officials point out that frequent allegiance switching by militant groups make them hard to track. This also makes it difficult to know who to blame.   Some in the U.S. military have expressed skepticism about reports of an increased ISIS presence in the northwest. One U.S. general surmised that some gunmen might be claiming connections with ISIS to boost their own prestige.  
Item Number:2 Date: 03/03/2017 AFGHANISTAN - TARGETING ISIS OVER 2016 CUTS GROUP'S NUMBERS FROM 2,000-3,000 TO 700 (MAR 03/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Over the last year, Afghan security operations backed by U.S. air support have reduced the Islamic State to about 700 fighters in Afghanistan, say U.S. officials, as reported by the Voice of America News.   In early March 2016, there were somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 ISIS fighters, primarily in the eastern Nangarhar province along the border with Pakistan, said a U.S. military spokesman on Wednesday in Kabul. At that point, the militants occupied around 11 districts, he said.   Now, said a spokesman, "We believe that there are approximately 700 members of ISIS, perhaps even less now based on the operations, that are still contained to less than three districts down in southern Nangarhar."   Afghan forces launched a new operation about a month ago in two of the districts. With U.S. assistance, that operation is progressing well, he said
  Item Number:3 Date: 03/03/2017 BANGLADESH - POLICE NAB 'SPIRITUAL LEADER' LINKED TO 2016 DHAKA CAFE ATTACK (MAR 03/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Police in Bangladesh say they have arrested the "spiritual leader" of a banned Islamist group blamed for several attacks in the country, reports Agence France-Presse.   Maolana Abul Kashem, 60, was found in a hideout in Dhaka on Thursday night, police said on Friday.   Kashem is considered the spiritual leader of the Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) group.   A top counterterrorist police official said Kashem inspired the July 2016 attack on a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people.   Kashem met with the mastermind of the attack "several times," said the official.  
Item Number:4 Date: 03/03/2017 BANGLADESH - PROCUREMENT AGENCY EYES UP TO 12 NEW FIGHTER JETS (MAR 03/QUWA)  QUWA -- The Bangladeshi air force is seeking new fighter jets to update its capabilities.   The Directorate General of Defense Purchases has just released a tender for eight new, multi-role combat aircraft. The tender released on March 1 includes options for four more jets, reports the Quwa defense news and analysis group.   The commitment for the purchase was finalized in December.   The new fighters are intended to enhance Bangladeshi defenses against aerial threats and provide new capabilities for anti-surface, maritime and offensive counter-air operations.   The requirements call for a twin-engine fighter with a minimum of eight hardpoints and a minimum payload of 11,000 pounds (5,000 kg).   According to the tender, the jet must also have an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar with an air-to-air range of 90 miles (150 km) and an air-to-ground range of 30 miles (50 km); integrated electronic warfare suite; infrared search-and-track system with a target-tracking range of at least 30 miles (50 km); helmet-mounted display and sight system; head-up display; and modern glass cockpit.   Bangladesh is also seeking a complete maintenance and training package as well as air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons.   The leading contenders are said to be the Russian MiG-35, Su-30 and Su-35
Item Number:5 Date: 03/03/2017 FINLAND - INTERIOR MINISTER WOULD EMPOWER BORDER GUARDS, SEEING THEM AS FRONTLINE ASSETS (MAR 03/YLE)  YLE NEWS -- Finnish Interior Minister Paula Risikko says border guards need to be authorized with more powers if national security is threatened, according to YLE News, Finland's English-language news service.   The current coalition government has emphasized security and will soon launch a review to set the priorities.   Public officials in general should have more leeway to deal with threats, said Risikko. Information-sharing among officials also needs to improve, she said told YLE on Wednesday.   In addition, the minister called for new intelligence legislation aimed at expanded surveillance.   She pointed in particular to the border guards. "Currently it often happens that there is a delay while waiting for those individuals who have the power to act," she said. "This cannot continue. Those who first encounter such a situation should have that power."   Border guard officials have been seeking more resources. Spending cuts over the last five years have reduced personnel by 40 percent along about 600 miles (1,000 km) of the frontier, said Lt. Gen. Jaakko Kaukanen, the chief of the border guards.  
  Item Number:6 Date: 03/03/2017 INDIA - TOP GENERAL SEEKS UPGRADING OF ARMORED VEHICLES, INTEGRATION WITH COMBAT AVIATION (MAR 03/PTI)  PRESS TRUST OF INDIA -- A senior Indian army officer says combat aviation should become an integral part of mechanized forces to defend against external threats, reports the Press Trust of India.   Future conflicts will not just be conventional, and the military must upgrade its capabilities to meet such threats, said Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha, the deputy chief of army staff for planning and systems. He made his remarks on Thursday at an international seminar on armored fighting vehicles in New Delhi.   Saha also called for upgrading India's armored vehicles to cope with changing terrain.   "We need to look at operation pattern" across the areas we are talking about, he said. In such regions, noted the general, there has been an "increase in the population density, huge unemployment [and] tremendous radicalization." Expecting "a battle to be only conventional" does not apply in our case, he said.  
  Item Number:7 Date: 03/03/2017 INDONESIA - SAUDI KING'S VACATION REQUIRES HUGE SECURITY EFFORT; OFFICIAL VISIT WAS LUCRATIVE (MAR 03/REU)  REUTERS -- A vacation in Indonesia for the king of Saudi Arabia has turned into a virtual military exercise for his hosts, reports Reuters.   King Salman and his entourage of 1,500 personnel, including 25 princes and 10 ministers, are expected in Bali on Saturday for a vacation.   The group will be protected by at least 2,500 police and military personnel. Six navy vessels will also be deployed offshore from the king's five-star resort, said Bali's military chief.   Preparations have included delivering two bulletproof Mercedes and the installation of 7-foot screens outside the resort's beach.   The king began a one-month Asia tour on Feb. 26. He will also visit Brunei, Japan, China, the Maldives and Jordan.   During the king's official visit to Jakarta earlier this week, 10 memoranda of understanding were signed -- with the trip estimated to be worth more than US$26 billion, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.  
 Item Number:8 Date: 03/03/2017 IRAQ - RIVAL KURDISH GROUPS CLASH IN SINJAR AREA NEAR SYRIAN BORDER (MAR 03/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Heavy fighting was reported Friday between rival Kurdish groups in Iraq's Sinjar region, according to the Anadolu Agency (Turkey).   Kurdish security sources said the clashes involved Peshmerga Rojava forces, made up of Syrian Kurds trained in Iraq with the backing the government of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, and the Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units (YBS), a local affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).   Ankara has designated the PKK as a terrorist group, as had the U.S. and the European Union.   The YBS fired on the peshmerga as they attempted to pass through the town of Snuny in Nineveh province, said a peshmerga commander. About 500 peshmerga were deployed late Thursday to the town to reinforce the Iraq-Syria border and take control of Sinjar.   Four peshmerga fighters and three PKK militants were injured, he said.   The YBS accused Ankara of inciting the violence, reported Reuters.  
 Item Number:9 Date: 03/03/2017 LATVIA - INTERIOR MINISTRY, INDUSTRY GROUP TO WORK TOGETHER ON INTERNAL SECURITY (MAR 03/BALTICNN)  BALTIC NEWS NETWORK -- The Interior Affairs Ministry in Latvia has finalized a cooperation plan with the Latvian Security and Defense Industry Federation, reports the Baltic News Network.   The agreement will allow new technologies to be introduced on the nation's eastern borders and support, among others, crime prevention and the improvement of court examinations, said Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis.   The cooperation plan also covers the introduction of various measures to enhance entrepreneurship and grow the Latvian economy through support for internal security, said the BNN on Thursday.   The cooperation will include conferences on technology and innovation in the security field and consultations on how develop domestic security industry, officials said.  
  Item Number:10 Date: 03/03/2017 MALI - JIHADIST GROUPS SAY THEY WILL MERGE (MAR 03/NOUAKCHOTT)  NOUAKCHOTT NEWS AGENCY -- The three largest Islamist factions in Mali have announced they will merge in a single organization, reports Mauritania's Nouakchott News Agency.   Ansar Dine will join Al-Mourabitoun, which is part of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQAIM), the groups said on Thursday, as reported by the Voice of America News.   The groups have been in occasional competition with each other in the past, noted Reuters.   They will also be joined by the Massina Brigades, a central Malian group made up of Fulani herders, and the Sahara Emirate, an offshoot of AQIM.   The new group, named Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen (Group to Support Islam and Muslims), will be headed by Ansar Dine fromer leader Iyad Ag Ghaly.   The merged group reportedly pledged allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah, Al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri and the leader of AQIM, Abu Musab Abdul Wadud.   The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors websites of jihadists, said they pledged allegiance to Al-Qaida, praising its current leader and the late Osama bin Laden
  Item Number:11 Date: 03/03/2017 NIGERIA - 3 BOMBERS DIE AFTER EXPLOSIONS NEAR TANKERS ON OUTSKIRTS OF MAIDUGURI (MAR 03/VANGUARD)  VANGUARD -- One fuel tanker has been destroyed, and two others burned, in an attack in northeastern Nigeria on Friday morning, reports Vanguard (Nigeria).   Three suicide bombers were killed when one of them set off his explosives near the tankers, reports Agence France-Presse. Two of the bombers were said to be women.   The bombers were spotted by [civilian] vigilantes outside Maiduguri, said emergency officials.   "They quickly ran and hid under three petrol tankers, where one of them detonated his explosives, killing all of them," said one official.   The capital of Borno state, Maiduguri has long been the target of suicide bombers from the Boko Haram militant group
  Item Number:12 Date: 03/03/2017 SOMALIA - PEACEKEEPING FORCES HIT AL-SHABAAB BASE NEAR ADMADOW (MAR 03/ALJAZ)  AL JAZEERA -- The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says a raid made Thursday against Al-Shabaab has killed at least 57 fighters, reports Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The assault took place on a militant base outside the Somali town of Admadow, about 100 km (62 miles) from the port of Kismayo.   Multinational A.U. forces as well as Somali troops backed by helicopter gunships, destroyed vehicles and equipment and seized "a large cache of weapons," said the mission.   An Al-Shabaab spokesman gave a different account, saying that the group's fighters ambushed a Kenyan unit, prompting them to call in air support. None of its fighters was killed, he said
Item Number:13 Date: 03/03/2017 SYRIA - BACKED BY RUSSIAN AIR SUPPORT, ARMY FORCES ISIS FROM PALMYRA (MAR 03/LAT)  LOS ANGELES TIMES -- Syrian government forces say they have recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra and its surrounding area from Islamic State fighters, with the help of Russian warplanes and allied forces, reports the Los Angeles Times.   "With backing from the Syrian and Russian air forces, units of our armed forces recaptured the city of Palmyra, in cooperation with the allies," said a Syrian military statement released on Thursday.   The operations inflicted "huge losses in men and materiel on [ISIS]," said a military spokesman.   Palmyra was first taken by ISIS in 2015. Government forces regained control of the historic city in March 2016, but then lost it in December 2016.   ISIS has now withdrawn completely from the city, shifting the fight to the region east of Aleppo, noted Deutsche Welle
Item Number:14 Date: 03/03/2017 TAIWAN - MILITARY TO INSTITUTE 'MULTIPLE DETERRENCE' STRATEGY, SAYS DEFENSE MINISTER (MAR 03/CENTRALNA)  CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY -- Taiwan's military has decided to shift its strategy to defend against the possibility of an attack by China, says Taiwan's defense minister.   The ministry is replacing the existing "effective deterrence, resolute defense" strategy with the new concept, "multiple deterrence, resolute defense," Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan told lawmakers on Thursday, as reported by the Central News Agency (Taipei).   Undergirding the concept of multiple deterrence is the ability to attack and defend on various fronts and prevent hostile forces from entering Taiwan by air, land or sea, he said.   The military will employ different methods to resist and deter enemies, with a focus on destroying the threats, said Feng.   The recent redeployment of PAC-3 air defense batteries to Taiwan's east coast was part of the new strategy, the defense minister said
Item Number:15 Date: 03/03/2017 USA - ALBUQUERQUE IS DECOMMISSIONED; SUB SAILED 1.1 MILLION NAUTICAL MILES OVER 33 YEARS (MAR 03/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- The U.S. Navy has decommissioned the Los Angeles-class attack submarine Albuquerque (SSN-706), reports the Navy NewsStand.   The sub, which was commissioned in 1983, was retired during a ceremony on Feb. 27 at the Keyport Undersea Museum in Washington state.   Over her 33-year career, the Albuquerque deployed 21 times, sailing approximately 1.1 million nautical miles, equivalent to about 52 global circumnavigations, said Rear Adm. John Tammen, the commander of Submarine Group 9.   The Albuquerque arrived at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Washington for inactivation and decommissioning on Oct. 28, 2015
  Item Number:16 Date: 03/03/2017 USA - COAST GUARDSMEN SHARE BOARDING EXPERTISE WITH IRAQIS, PAKISTANIS (MAR 03/NNS)  NAVY NEWSSTAND -- U.S. Coast Guard personnel are in the midst of training Iraqi and Pakistani officers on visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) operations at Naval Support Activity Bahrain, reports the Navy NewsStand.   The Feb.26- March 9 exercise is been held at the "ship-in-the-box" (SIB) facility at the base. This is the first time in three years that Iraqi and Pakistani naval personnel have gotten together for the drills, led by U.S. Coast Guard Patrol Force Southwest Asia (PATFORSWA), according to a service release on Thursday.   This year's exercise for the first time is focused on evidence collection and documentation of items confiscated during VBSS missions.   The object is to share best practices among participants, improve interoperability and develop common skills, said the release.   Following the shore-based training, the Pakistani officers were scheduled to board USCGC Wrangell (WPB-1332) for an immersive simulation of VBSS situations.   The underway component of the exercise will enhance understanding of vessel types, small boat operations and basic seamanship, the Navy said
Item Number:17 Date: 03/03/2017 USA - GLOBAL HAWK TAKING PART IN TESTS WITH MULTISPECTRAL SENSOR PAYLOAD (MAR 03/NORGRU)  NORTHROP GRUMMAN -- Northrop Grumman has announced the start of flight-testing of the MS-177 sensor system on the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).   This represents the first time the sensor has been flown on a high-altitude, long-endurance UAV, said a company release on Wednesday.   The MS-177 provides the ability to detect targets using a broad area search and different sensing technologies and fix, tract and assess targets through agility and multiple sensing modes, said Northrop Grumman.   Testing with the MS-177 payload on the Global Hawk is expected to continue at the company's Palmdale, Calif., facility throughout the first half of 2017.   Northrop Grumman has been testing a number of new sensors on the Global Hawk, including the SYERS-2 intelligence-gathering sensor and the Optical Bar Camera
Item Number:18 Date: 03/03/2017 USA - RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE SHIP MOST RECENTLY SEEN OFF FLORIDA COAST; PENTAGON UNWORRIED (MAR 03/FN)  FOX NEWS -- A Russian intelligence-gathering vessel has been spotted close to Florida, reports Fox News.   The Viktor Leonov was seen Thursday southeast of U.S. Naval Station Mayport, about 150 miles off Florida, at the time heading toward the Caribbean, said U.S. officials.   The vessel was first spotted close to Delaware in mid-February. It was later seen near Norfolk, Va.   The ship's presence has prompted a number of stories. However, the Pentagon pointed out repeatedly that this ship has been doing this for years, back to 1998, noted Military Times last month.   The Russian intelligence-gathering operations are "lawful [and] similar to operations we do around the world," said a Pentagon spokesman last month.   U.S. Navy aircraft are expected to keep an eye on the Russians as they have in the past, said the officials
Item Number:19 Date: 03/03/2017 USA - SWITZERLAND, SPAIN, BELGIUM AMONG POTENTIAL F-35 CUSTOMERS, SAYS LOCKHEED (MAR 03/REU)  REUTERS -- U.S. defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin says it has been holding discussions with several European nations about the potential purchase of F-35 fighter jets, reports Reuters.   Lockheed is talking to Switzerland, Spain and Belgium, the head of the program, Jeff Babione, told reporters at an airshow in Australia on Friday.   "There are quite a few other European nations that are looking at perhaps having the F-35 as an opportunity. We are starting to see other customers think about the F-35 being added to their fleet," he said.   Finland is also said to be in talks with Lockheed, said an unnamed source familiar with the discussions.   Already signed up with the F-35 program, in addition to the U.S., are Australia, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and Israel.   Those nations will have to begin ordering in blocks beyond yearly commitments to keep costs at US$80 million by 2020, Babione said
Item Number:20 Date: 03/03/2017 YEMEN - AMERICAN AIRSTRIKES REPEATEDLY HIT AQAP; STRIKES CONCENTRATE ON AREA WHERE SEAL WAS KILLED IN JANUARY (MAR 03/WP)  WASHINGTON POST -- The U.S. military made more than 20 airstrikes in Yemen against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula on Thursday, says the Pentagon, as reported by the Washington Post.   The airstrikes hit "militants, equipment and infrastructure" in the Yemeni provinces of Abyan, Bayda and Shabwah, said Pentagon spokesman.   "The strikes will degrade the AQAP's ability to coordinate external terror attacks and limit their ability to use territory seized from the legitimate government of Yemen as a safe space for terror plotting," said the DoD statement.   Twenty-five airstrikes were carried out by unmanned and manned aircraft, said an unnamed defense official.   The strikes were concentrated in the area where a Navy SEAL was killed in a raid of an AQAP compound on Jan. 29, noted Military.com.   At least nine suspected AQAP fighters were killed, said local officials cited by Al Jazeera (Qatar).   The military had been granted temporary authorities for intensified air operations against AQAP in some areas of Yemen, the official said. This gives the military the ability to make strikes without a lengthy approval process managed by the White House.   Attacks by U.S. forces were continuing on Friday, reported Reuters.   About a dozen airstrikes hit the village of Was Yashbum in Shabwa province, including the home of an Al-Qaida leader in the area. American ground troops were said to be involved in the raid.   Airstrikes and ground action between terrorists and U.S. soldiers were also reported in the Jabal Mugan area of neighboring Abyan province.
 

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